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Works : Liquid Language (1989)


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Liquid Language is Hypercard stack I created in 1989 for an exhibition of works by artists that explored the future of the book. It is an experiment in fluid text. I wanted to be able to create a text that shifted constantly, since I often find that a static text with its authority and solidity belies the often ambiguous inspirations and ideas that led to the text's creation. Text appears on the screen, dissolves and transforms continuously, resulting in a representation of a wandering stream of consciousness. The structure of the work revolves around the three themes : forgetting, remembering and dreaming. The work was built as a recursive tree of interconnected texts. At each branching point of the tree, there are always three options, one each corresponding to forgetting, remembering and dreaming. The piece in operation moves through three phases, also related to the three themes. While in a phase, the branching mechanism favours the branches identified with the theme of the phase. (i.e. while in a dreaming phase, the computer will prefer to take the dreaming branches).

The content of the work derived largely from talks I had around that time with a close friend who had recently experienced a tragic loss. Although the work itself is much less grave, and does not pretend to comprehend or describe what he went through, it was my own response to his intense experience of remembering, forgetting and dreaming. It is really only in retrospect that I realize how much this work was drawn from that experience, and in belated acknowledgement of that fact, I dedicate this work to Mark, and to Julie's memory.

A review:

Rokeby's "Liquid Language" is similar, but instead of keeping the armature of the poem intact, the phrases fade out and new ones materialize out of the electronic ether, so that while the after-image of the words that have evaporated lingers, the sentence has already become something else. It's a haunting experience in which the medium really is the message - the subject is the fluidity of memory.
- Toronto Star
Download a copy of Liquid Language (105 K)

You need Hypercard or Hypercard player to open this file. Please view it in 256 colours. It will be much too fast in 16-bit or 32-bit colour!!! (Next)


History
1989

"ArtWare: Artist's BookWorks", A Space, Toronto, Canada. 

2003
The Classic II Exhibition, Electrohype-ROM, Malmo, Sweden

2010
ElectroHype 2010, Ystads Konstmuseum, Ystads, Sweden


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Copyright 2010 David Rokeby / very nervous systems / All rights reserved. 11/25/2010